Penultimate draft; please refer to published version. I argue, on philosophical, psychological, and neurophysiological grounds, that contrary to an orthodox view, dreams do not typically involve misleading sensations and false beliefs. I am thus in partial agreement with Colin McGinn, who has argued that we do not have misleading sensory experience while dreaming, and partially in agreement with Ernest Sosa, who has argued that we do not form false beliefs while dreaming. Rather, on my view, dreams involve mental imagery and (...) propositional imagination. I defend the imagination model of dreaming from some objections. (shrink)
Imaginative representations are crucial to the generation of action--both pretense and plain action. But well-known theories of imagination on offer in the literature  fail to describe how perceptually-formatted imaginings (mental images) and motor imaginings function in the generation of action and  fail to recognize the important fact that spatially rich imagining can be integrated into one's perceptual manifold. In this paper, I present a theory of imagining that shows how spatially rich imagining functions in the generation of (...) action. I also describe the imaginative structures behind two under-explored forms of action: semi-pretense and pretense layering. In addition, I suggest that my theory of imagining meshes better than the competitors with current work in cognitive and affective neuroscience. (shrink)
A popular view has it that the mental representations underlying human pretense are not beliefs, but are “belief-like” in important ways. This view typically posits a distinctive cognitive attitude (a “DCA”) called “imagination” that is taken toward the propositions entertained during pretense, along with correspondingly distinct elements of cognitive architecture. This paper argues that the characteristics of pretense motivating such views of imagination can be explained without positing a DCA, or other cognitive architectural features beyond those regulating normal (...) belief and desire. On the present “Single Attitude” account of imagination, propositional imagining just is a form of believing. The Single Attitude account is also distinguished from “metarepresentational” accounts of pretense, which hold that both pretending and recognizing pretense in others require one to have concepts of mental states. It is argued, to the contrary, that pretending and recognizing pretense require neither a DCA nor possession of mental state concepts. (shrink)
Issues of pretense and imagination are of central interest to philosophers, psychologists, and researchers in allied fields. In this entry, we provide a roadmap of some of the central themes around which discussion has been focused. We begin with an overview of pretense, imagination, and the relationship between them. We then shift our attention to the four specific topics where the disciplines' research programs have intersected or where additional interactions could prove mutually beneficial: the psychological underpinnings of performing (...) pretense and of recognizing pretense, the cognitive capacities involved in imaginative engagement with fictions, and the real-world impact of make-believe. In the final section, we discuss more briefly a number of other mental activities that arguably involve imagining, including counterfactual reasoning, delusions, and dreaming. (shrink)
David Hume endorses three claims that are difficult to reconcile: (1) sympathy with those in distress is sufficient to produce compassion towards their plight, (2) adopting the general point of view often requires us to sympathize with the pain and suffering of distant strangers, but (3) our care and concern is limited to those in our close circle. Hume manages to resolve this tension, however, by distinguishing two types of sympathy. We feel compassion towards those around us because associative sympathy (...) causes us to mirror their pain and suffering, but our ability to enter into the afflictions of those remote from us involves cognitive sympathy and merely requires us to reflect upon how we would feel in their shoes. This hybrid theory of sympathy receives support from recent work on affective mirroring and cognitive pretense. Hume’s account should appeal to contemporary researchers, therefore, who are interested in the nature of moral imagination. (shrink)
I argue that any account of imagination should satisfy the following three desiderata. First, imaginations induce actions only in conjunction with beliefs about the environment of the imagining subject. Second, there is a continuum between imaginations and beliefs. Recognizing this continuum is crucial to explain the phenomenon of imaginative immersion. Third, the mental states that relate to imaginations in the way that desires relate to beliefs are a special kind of desire, namely desires to make true in fiction. These (...) desires to make true in fiction do not differ from regular desires in kind, but only in content. I argue for these three desiderata in turn by critically discussing several recent accounts of imagination. (shrink)
This book departs from much of the scholarship on Kant by demonstrating the centrality of imagination to Kant's philosophy as a whole. In Kant's works, human experience is simultaneously passive and active, thought and sensed, free and unfree: these dualisms are often thought of as unfortunate byproducts of his system. Gibbons, however, shows that imagination performs a vital function in "bridging gaps" between the different elements of cognition and experience. Thus, the role imagination plays in Kant's works (...) expresses his fundamental insight into the complexity of cognition for finite rational beings such as ourselves. (shrink)
John Perry's book Knowledge, Possibility, and Consciousness is a lucid and engaging defense of a physicalist view of consciousness against various anti-physicalist arguments. In what follows, I will address Perry's responses to the three main anti-physicalist arguments he discusses: the zombie argument (focusing on imagination), the knowledge argument (focusing on indexicals), and the modal argument (focusing on intensions).
Both imagery and imagination play an important part in our mental lives. This article, which has three main sections, discusses both of these phenomena, and the connection between them. The first part discusses mental images and, in particular, the dispute about their representational nature that has become known as the _imagery debate_ . The second part turns to the faculty of the imagination, discussing the long philosophical tradition linking mental imagery and the imagination—a tradition that came under (...) attack in the early part of the twentieth century with the rise of behaviorism. Finally, the third part of this article examines modal epistemology, where the imagination has been thought to serve an important philosophical function, namely, as a guide to possibility. (shrink)
In this article (Part I), I first engage in some conceptual clarification of what the words "imagine," "imagining," and "imagination" can mean. Each has (i) a constructive sense, (ii) an attitudinal sense, and (iii) an imagistic sense. Keeping the senses straight in the course of cognitive theorizing is important for both psychology and philosophy. I then discuss the roles that perceptual memories, beliefs, and genre truth attitudes play in constructive imagination, or the capacity to generate novel representations that (...) go well beyond what's prompted by one's immediate environment. (shrink)
Imagination is a central concept in aesthetics with close ties to issues in the philosophy of mind and the philosophy of language, yet it has not received the kind of sustained, critical attention it deserves. Imagination, Philosophy and the Arts represents the work of fifteen young yet distinguished philosophers of art, who critically examine just how and in what form the notion of imagination illuminates fundamental problems in the philosophy of art. All new papers, a strong collection (...) on the imagination in philosophy, particularly in relation to literature and the visual arts. The book falls in three parts: emotional imagination, fiction-making imagination and sensory imagination. The volume opens up several new frontiers that will attract substantial interest in philosophers of art, as well as philosophers working on mental representation, emotion theory, perception and fiction. These papers make a large contribution to developing our understanding of 'imagination' in new directions and setting the research agenda for the next decade. (shrink)
Despite their intuitive appeal and a long philosophical history, imagery-based accounts of the imagination have fallen into disfavor in contemporary discussions. The philosophical pressure to reject such accounts seems to derive from two distinct sources. First, the fact that mental images have proved difficult to accommodate within a scientific conception of mind has led to numerous attempts to explain away their existence, and this in turn has led to attempts to explain the phenomenon of imagining without reference to such (...) ontologically dubious entities as mental images. Second, even those philosophers who accept mental images in their ontology have worried about what seem to be fairly obvious examples of imaginings that occur without imagery. In this paper, I aim to relieve both these points of philosophical pressure and, in the process, develop a new imagery-based account of the imagination: the imagery model. (shrink)
Recreative Minds develops a philosophical theory of imagination that draws upon the latest work in psychology. This theory illuminates the use of imagination in coming to terms with art, its role in enabling us to live as social beings, and the psychological consequences of disordered imagination. The authors offer a lucid exploration of a fascinating subject.
What kinds of psychological states motivate us? Beliefs and desires are the obvious candidates. But some aspects of our behaviour suggest another idea. I have in mind the view that imagination can sometimes constitute motivation.
According to recent accounts of the imagination, mental mechanisms that can take input from both imagining and from believing will process imagination-based inputs (pretense representations) and isomorphic beliefs in much the same way. That is, such a mechanism should produce similar outputs whether its input is the belief that p or the pretense representation that p. Unfortunately, there seem to be clear counterexamples to this hypothesis, for in many cases, imagining that p and believing that p have quite (...) different psychological consequences. This paper sets out some central problem cases and argues that the cases might be accommodated by adverting to the role of desires concerning real and imaginary situations. (shrink)
Interest in imagination dates back to Plato and Aristotle, but full-length works have been devoted to it only relatively recently by Sartre, McKellar, Furlong, Casey, Johnson, Warnock, Brann, and others. Despite their length and variety, however, these current theories take overly narrow views of this complex phenomenon. (1) Their definitions of “imagination” neglect the multiplicity of its meanings and tend to focus narrowly on the power of imaging alone (which produces images and imagery). But imagination in (...) the fullest, most encompassing sense centers instead on creativity, which involves both imaging and reasoning powers. (2) Current accounts of the operations of imagination narrowly construe it in fixed, immutable terms. But it’s instead a dynamic, evolving synergy of its psychological roots (images and symbols) and sociobiological roots (cultures and instincts). This synergy has transformed the roles of images and symbols in imagination (as Vygotsky, Goody, etc. note). For example, in the shift from mytheopic to scientific imagination, literacy and formal education fostered abstract symbolic thinking (reason), which differs from mytheopic thinking based on richly concrete associations (imagery). The result was “more than cool reason”, but experimental studies (by Perkins, Clement, etc.) show that it’s also more than just dreamy imagery. It’s a dynamic synergy of the two that has transformed both. (3) Current evaluations of imagination’s potentials are also narrow. They tend to focus on its role in mental life while ignoring social and political life. Also, they tend to follow romantic and existentialist customs of extolling imagination’s virtues without soberly critiquing its limitations. Again, they ignore the synergy of psychological, sociological and biological forces that shape mental and social evolution, and promote and constrain imagination in complex ways. For example, Sartre surreally asks us to choose our own nature with an imagination emancipated from institutional and instinctual strictures. Yet making intelligible choices depends on these strictures. (4) In conclusion, current theories define imagination narrowly in terms of imaging, they describe its operations in fixed and immutable terms, and they evaluate its potentials without examining the full interplay of forces shaping it. These shortcomings are remedied by a broader perspective that defines imagination more adequately and comprehensively, and that recognizes it’s complex roots, dynamic operations, and evolving potentials. (shrink)
This volume brings together specially written essays by leading researchers on the propositional imagination. This is the mental capacity we exploit when we imagine that Holmes has a bad habit or that there are zombies. It plays an essential role in philosophical theorizing, engaging with fiction, and indeed in everyday life. The Architecture of the Imagination capitalizes on recent attempts to give a cognitive account of this capacity, extending the theoretical picture and exploring the philosophical implications.
The literature suggests that in sensory imagination we focus on the imagined objects, not on the imaginative states themselves, and that therefore imagination is not introspective. It is claimed that the introspection of imaginative states is an additional cognitive ability. However, there seem to be counterexamples to this claim. In many cases in which we sensorily imagine a certain object in front of us, we are aware that this object is not really where we imagine it to be. (...) So it looks as if in these cases of imagination, we are aware of the mere appearance of the imagined object, and hence introspection is a constitutive part of imagination. In this article, I address this contradictory state of affairs and argue that we should classify at least some forms of sensory imagination as introspective. For this purpose I use the appearance-reality distinction as a central notion for introspection. I also defend the thesis of introspective imagination against the objection that young children imagine without yet understanding the concept of experience. (shrink)
One version of the Humean Theory of Motivation holds that all actions can be causally explained by reference to a belief–desire pair. Some have argued that pretense presents counter-examples to this principle, as pretense is instead causally explained by a belief-like imagining and a desire-like imagining. We argue against this claim by denying imagination the power of motivation. Still, we allow imagination a role in guiding action as a script . We generalize the script concept to show how (...) things besides imagination can occupy this same role in both pretense and non-pretense actions. The Humean Theory of Motivation should then be modified to cover this script role. (shrink)
In this book Jane Kneller focuses on the role of imagination as a creative power in Kant’s aesthetics and in his overall philosophical enterprise. She analyzes Kant's account of imaginative freedom and the relation between imaginative free play and human social and moral development, showing various ways in which his aesthetics of disinterested reflection produce moral interests. She situates these aspects of his aesthetic theory within the context of German aesthetics of the eighteenth century, arguing that Kant’s contribution is (...) a bridge between early theories of aesthetic moral education and the early Romanticism of the last decade of that century. In so doing, her book brings the two most important German philosophers of Enlightenment and Romanticism, Kant and Novalis, into dialogue. It will be of interest to a wide range of readers in both Kant studies and German philosophy of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. (shrink)
This paper examines Santayana on imagination, and related themes, chiefly as these are expressed in his early work, Interpretations of Poetry and Religion (1900). My hypothesis is that Santayana under-estimates, in this book, the force and significance of the prevalent distinction between imagination and fancy, as this was originally put forward by Coleridge and later developed in Emerson’s late essays. I will focus on some of those aspects of Santayana’s book which appear to react to or to engage (...) with Emerson’s views and aim to bring Santayana’s treatment of the theme of imagination into relation with Emerson. Understanding the differences in greater detail we stand a better chance of reasoned evaluation of alternative conceptions of imagination. I will argue that the Coleridge-Emersonian conception of the distinction between imagination and fancy is a crucial element of the background of Peircean abduction, and in this fashion, contributes to the continuity of Emerson’s writings with the pragmatist tradition. (shrink)
The Hypocritical Imagination: Between Kant and Levinas is an outstanding contribution to this vacuum. Focusing on Kant and Levinas, John Llewelyn takes us on a dazzling tour of the philosophical imagination. He shows us that despite the different treatments they accord to the imagination, there is much to be gained from comparing these two key thinkers. From Kant, Llewelyn shows how the imagination is the common root of all understanding. He contrasts this with the thought of (...) Emmanuel Levinas, for whom the imagination plays an ambivalent role both as necessary for and a threat to recognition of the other. John Llewelyn also introduces the importance of the work of Heidegger, Schelling, Hegel, Arendt, and Derrida on the imagination and what this work can tell us about the relationship between the imagination and ethics, aesthetics, and literature. (shrink)
Ignorance and Imagination advances a novel way to resolve the central philosophical problem about the mind: how it is that consciousness or experience fits into a larger naturalistic picture of the world. The correct response to the problem, Stoljar argues, is not to posit a realm of experience distinct from the physical, nor to deny the reality of phenomenal experience, nor even to rethink our understanding of consciousness and the language we use to talk about it. Instead, we should (...) view the problem itself as a consequence of our ignorance of the relevant physical facts. Stoljar shows that this change of orientation is well motivated historically, empirically, and philosophically, and that it has none of the side effects it is sometimes thought to have. The result is a philosophical perspective on the mind that has a number of far-reaching consequences: for consciousness studies, for our place in nature, and for the way we think about the relationship between philosophy and science. (shrink)
"Henry Corbin's works are the best guide to the visionary tradition.... Corbin, like Scholem and Jonas, is remembered as a scholar of genius. He was uniquely equipped not only to recover Iranian Sufism for the West, but also to defend the principal Western traditions of esoteric spirituality."--From the introduction by Harold Bloom Ibn 'Arabi (1165-1240) was one of the great mystics of all time. Through the richness of his personal experience and the constructive power of his intellect, he made a (...) unique contribution to Shi'ite Sufism. In this book, which features a powerful new preface by Harold Bloom, Henry Corbin brings us to the very core of this movement with a penetrating analysis of Ibn 'Arabi's life and doctrines. Corbin begins with a kind of spiritual topography of the twelfth century, emphasizing the differences between exoteric and esoteric forms of Islam. He also relates Islamic mysticism to mystical thought in the West. The remainder of the book is devoted to two complementary essays: on "Sympathy and Theosophy" and "Creative Imagination and Creative Prayer." A section of notes and appendices includes original translations of numerous Su fi treatises. Harold Bloom's preface links Sufi mysticism with Shakespeare's visionary dramas and high tragedies, such as The Tempest and Hamlet . These works, he writes, intermix the empirical world with a transcendent element. Bloom shows us that this Shakespearean cosmos is analogous to Corbin's "Imaginal Realm" of the Sufis, the place of soul or souls. (shrink)
Many writers have paid tribute to its power: Shakespeare urged his audiences to use it to create a setting; Hobbes asserted that "imagination and memory are but one thing;" for Wordsworth it was "the mightiest leveler known to moral world;" and to Baudelaire it represented "the queen of truth." Imagination as artistic, poetic, and cultural predicate remains one of the most influential ideas in the history of Western thought. (...) class='Hi'> It has been simultaneously feared as a dangerous, uncontrollable force, and revered as the supreme visionary power. The questions of its origins, nature, function, and effects have absorbed writers, theologians, and philosophers alike. J. M. Cocking's Imagination shows how these questions have recurred, through the ages and in various cultures. Exploring this theme, from antiquity to the Renaissance, it opens with a discussion of the treatment of imagination in the writings of Aristotle and Plato. Tracing its development in the Middle Ages, Cocking pays particular attention to the parallel tradition in Islamic thought of the period. The book pursues the concept through the theories of Dante and the neo-Platonists, concluding with the High Renaissance. (shrink)
In part because "imagination" is a slippery notion, its exact role in the production of scientific knowledge remains unclear. There is, however, one often explicit and deliberate use of imagination by scientists that can be (and has been) studied intensively by epistemologists and historians of science: thought experiments. The main goal of this article is to document the varieties of thought experimentation, not so much in terms of the different sciences in which they occur but rather in terms (...) of the different functions they fulfil. I argue that thought experimentation (and hence imagination) plays a role not only in theory choice but in singular causal analysis and scientific discovery as well. I pinpoint, moreover, some of the rules governing the use of thought experiments in theory choice and in singular causal analysis, that is, some of the criteria they should meet in order to fulfil those functions successfully. (shrink)
Before imagination became the transcendent and creative faculty promoted by the Romantics, it was for something quite different. Not reserved to a privileged few, imagination was instead considered a universal ability that each person could direct in practical ways. To imagine something meant to form in the mind a replica of a thing—its taste, its sound, and other physical attributes. At the end of the Renaissance, there was a movement to encourage individuals to develop their ability to imagine (...) vividly. Within their private mental space, a space of embodied, sensual thought, they could meditate, pray, or philosophize. Gradually, confidence in the self-directed imagination fell out of favor and was replaced by the belief that the few—an elite of writers and teachers—should control the imagination of the many. This book seeks to understand what imagination meant in early modern Europe, particularly in early modern France, before the Romantic era gave the term its modern meaning. The author explores the themes surrounding early modern notions of imagination (including hostility to imagination) through the writings of such figures as Descartes, Montaigne, François de Sales, Pascal, the Marquise de Se;vigne;, Madame de Lafayette, and Fe;nelon. (shrink)
Political judgment in its historical context -- The politics of managing decline -- Moralism and realpolitik -- On the very idea of a metaphysics of right -- The actual and another modernity : order and imagination in Don Quixote -- Culture as ideal and as boundary -- On museums -- Celan's Meridian -- Heidegger and his brother -- Richard Rorty at Princeton : personal recollections -- Melody as death -- On bourgeois philosophy and the concept of "criticism".
Using path-breaking discoveries of cognitive science, Mark Johnson argues that humans are fundamentally imaginative moral animals, challenging the view that morality is simply a system of universal laws dictated by reason. According to the Western moral tradition, we make ethical decisions by applying universal laws to concrete situations. But Johnson shows how research in cognitive science undermines this view and reveals that imagination has an essential role in ethical deliberation. Expanding his innovative studies of human reason in Metaphors We (...) Live By and The Body in the Mind, Johnson provides the tools for more practical, realistic, and constructive moral reflection. (shrink)
This article defends tradition and common sense against a widespread and rarely questioned contemporary philosophical orthodoxy that underpins the entrenched and exorbitant "lingualism" of so much 20th century thought, and leads the way to extreme doctrines like cognitive relativism and eliminative materialism. It also plugs what might otherwise have seemed to be a significant hole in the argument of myÂ Are Theories of Imagery Theories of Imagination? (which I regard as my main positive contribution so far to the understanding (...) ofÂ the mind). For a relatively brief overview of the situation in cognitive theory and consciousness studies, as I see it, see A Stimulus toÂ the Imagination. Click here to view the full article: Imagery and the Coherence of Imagination: a Critique of White. Earlier drafts of this article, one entitled "The White Images of Imagery and Imagination: A Critique and an Alternative", were formerly available on the net. Please make any citations to the published version. - N.J.T.T. (shrink)
In the shadow of a looming global ecological and social catastrophe 'Only a God Can Save Us: Heidegger, Poetic Imagination and the Modern Malaise' is timely and essential reading. The book argues that technology by itself cannot save the diversity, integrity and habitability of the planet. Averting disaster calls for a radical transformation in our very being. Humanity is at an unprecedented crossroad where crucial and difficult decisions must be made about how we are to live. This book attends (...) to a crisis in the human psyche that, it suggests, is at the root of the ever more pressing contemporary problems. Aimed at an intelligent lay audience it has ramifications in domains ranging from art, literature and sociology to environmental management, ecology and technology. Moreover, van Leeuwen's insightful grasp of the core of the Martin Heidegger's later thinking makes this book also invaluable to scholars and students of this influential and controversial philosopher, as well as those with a wider interest in continental philosophy. It uncovers an extraordinary, but rarely trodden or overlooked pathway of thinking that offers the means to a way of being as authentic dwellers of the earth. The author identifies an ‘in-between region’ within thought where the poetic imagination is awakened (implicating 'the gods') and enabled to respond creatively. From this emerges the possibility of a genuinely sustainable way of thinking and active commitment. (shrink)
Iteration presents opposing puzzles for a theory of the imagination. The first puzzle, noted by David Lewis, is that when a person pretends to pretend, the iteration is often preserved. Let’s call this the puzzle of ‘pre- served iteration’. At the other pole, Gregory Currie has noted that very often when we pretend to pretend, the iteration does collapse. We might call this the puzzle of ‘collapsed iteration’. Somehow a theory of the imagination must be able to address (...) these two puzzles. I argue that an empirically inspired cognitive theory of the imagination (Nichols & Stich 2000) can accommodate both puzzles. (shrink)
Introduction -- An introduction to the crisis of spirit : technology and the Fichtean imagination -- Technology and truth : representation and the problem of the third term -- Spirit and the technology of the letter -- The spatial imagination : affect, image, and the critique of representational consciousness -- Subtle matter and the ground of intersubjectivity -- The aesthetic of influence -- The first displacement : from subjectivity to being -- The second displacement : from a metaphysical (...) to a technological imagination. (shrink)
In recent years feminist scholarship has increasingly focused on the importance of the body and its representations in virtually every social, cultural, and intellectual context. Many have argued that because women are more closely identified with their bodies, they have access to privileged and different kinds of knowledge than men. In this landmark new book, Paula Cooey offers a different perspective on the significance of the body in the context of religious life and practice. Building on the pathbreaking work of (...) Elaine Scarry in The Body in Pain, Cooey looks at a wide range of evidence, from the Argentine prison narrative of Alicia Partnoy, to the novels of Toni Morrison and the paintings of Frida Kahlo. Drawing on current social theory and critique, cognitive psychology, contemporary fiction and art, and women's accounts of religious experience, Cooey relates the reality of sentience to the social construction of reality. Beginning with an examination of the female body as a metaphor for alternative knowledge, she considers the significance of physical pain and pleasure to the religious imagination, and the relations between sentience, sensuality, and female subjectivity. Cooey succeeds in bringing forward a sophisticated new understanding of the religious importance of the body, at the same time laying the foundations of a feminist theory of religion. (shrink)
Introduction -- A history of the ancient "quarrel" : the philosophical "side" -- On the "side" of poetry in the ancient "quarrel" -- Imagination in the Sophist -- The pharmacological structure of the imagination -- The unity of form and content in Platonic dialogues -- Imagination and the ancient "quarrel".
Just before the Scientific Revolution, there was a "Mathematical Revolution", heavily based on geometrical and machine diagrams. The "faculty of imagination" (now called scientific visualization) was developed to allow 3D understanding of planetary motion, human anatomy and the workings of machines. 1543 saw the publication of the heavily geometrical work of Copernicus and Vesalius, as well as the first Italian translation of Euclid.
The Critical Imagination is a study of metaphor, imaginativeness, and criticism of the arts. Since the eighteenth century, many philosophers have argued that appreciating art is rewarding because it involves responding imaginatively to a work. Literary works can be interpreted in many ways; architecture can be seen as stately, meditative, or forbidding; and sensitive descriptions of art are often colourful metaphors: music can 'shimmer', prose can be 'perfumed', and a painter's colouring can be 'effervescent'. Engaging with art, like creating (...) it, seems to offer great scope for imagination. Hume, Kant, Oscar Wilde, Roger Scruton, and others have defended variations on this attractive idea. In this book, James Grant critically examines it. The first half explains the role imaginativeness plays in criticism. To do this, Grant answers three questions that are of interest in their own right. First, what are the aims of criticism? Is the point of criticizing a work to evaluate it, to explain it, to modify our response to it, or something else? Second, what is it to appreciate art? Third, what is imaginativeness? He gives new answers to all three questions, and uses them to explain the role of imaginativeness in criticism. The book's second half focuses on metaphor. Why are some metaphors so effective? How do we understand metaphors? Are some thoughts expressible only in metaphor? Grant's answers to these questions go against much current thinking in the philosophy of language. He uses these answers to explain why imaginative metaphors are so common in art criticism. The result is a rigorous and original theory of metaphor, criticism, imaginativeness, and their interrelations. (shrink)
Conventional wisdom and commonsense morality tend to take the integrity of persons for granted. But for people in systematically unjust societies, self-respect and human dignity may prove to be impossible dreams.Susan Babbitt explores the implications of this insight, arguing that in the face of systemic injustice, individual and social rationality may require the transformation rather than the realization of deep-seated aims, interests, and values. In particular, under such conditions, she argues, the cultivation and ongoing exercise of moral imagination is (...) necessary to discover and defend a more humane social vision. Impossible Dreams is one of those rare books that fruitfully combines discourses that were previously largely separate: feminist and antiracist political theory, analytic ethics and philosophy of mind, and a wide range of non-philosophical literature on the lives of oppressed peoples around the world. It is both an object lesson in reaching across academic barriers and a demonstration of how the best of feminist philosophy can be in conversation with the best of “mainstream” philosophy—as well as affect the lives of real people. (shrink)
This paper seeks to integrate analytic philosophy and phenomenology. It does so through an approach generated, specifically, in relation to imagination and its cognitive significance. As an Introduction, some reservations about existing phenomenological approaches to imagination—in the work of Sartre and Edward S. Casey—are considered. It is argued that their introspective psychological approach needs to be qualified through a more analytic orientation that determines essence, initially, on the basis of public discourse concerning the term ‘imagination.’ Part One (...) then articulates this orientation through an ‘analytic reduction’ that identifies imagination’s essence in public discourse as thought in its quasi-sensory mode. Part Two offers a sustained phenomenological investigation of this essence, and identifies four major intrinsic features. On the basis of this, Part Three shows how imagination is implicated, centrally, in the capacity to acquire language. In Conclusion the proceeding arguments are defended against possible objections, and a final key summarizing argument is formulated to show that imagination must be regarded, also, as necessary to perception and its capacity to articulate a world. The paper ends with a few thoughts on the further potential of post-analytic phenomenology. (shrink)
Starting from a genesis of the concept of narrative identity, this article attemps to interpret the constitution process of our narrative identities through a systematic and synthetic review of the main contributions of the Ricœurian theory of imagination, from Freedom and Nature to Oneself as Another. In its complex imaginative constitution, narrative identity can then be characterized as a poetico-practical mix that mediates and puts in a dialectical relation two distinct functions of the imagination: a poetic and a (...) practical one, which are themselves enlivened by a dialectic and an internal duplication. (shrink)
Les deux livres de Sartre sur l’image posent un problème d’interprétation rarement traité. Le premier, L’Imagination, s’achève sur un vibrant hommage à la théorie husserlienne de l’image. Le second, L’Imaginaire, qui faisait initialement partie d’un même volume, propose une théorie inédite de l’imagination qui ne cite pas une seule fois Husserl, et qui s’en démarque fortement. Sartre a-t-il changé de point de vue d’un livre à l'autre ? Ou faut-il comprendre que son hommage à Husserl était d’emblée un (...) hommage critique, porteur de lourds désaccords explicités par L’Imaginaire ? Cet article répond à ces questions en cernant les lignes de fracture décisives entre les deux auteurs. (shrink)
What does it mean to say that imagination plays a role in moral reasoning, and what are the theoretical and practical implications? Engaging with three traditions in moral theory and confronting them with three contexts of moral practice, this book offers a more comprehensive framework to think about these questions. The author develops an argument about the relation between imagination and principles that moves beyond competition metaphors and center-periphery schemas. He shows that both cooperate and are equally necessary (...) to cope with moral problems, and combines insights of different theories and disciplines to explore how this works in practice. (shrink)
Aristotelian imagination -- A Bonaventuran synthesis -- Imagination in Bonaventure's Meditations -- Exercising imagination: the Meditationes vitae Christi and Stimulus amoris -- From "wit to wisedom": Langland's Ymaginatif -- Imagination in translation: Love's myrrour and The Prickynge of love -- Conclusion.
The second volume in this series devoted to the writings of the English Dominican Robert Kilwardby, this work presents the Latin text of two Oxford treatises from the 1250s--one on time, the other on imagination. The treatise on time discusses its reality, connection with change, unity and beginning, the instant and time's relationship to eternity; the one on imagination examines the way imagery is acquired, retained and transmitted, and the relation between heart and head in the workings of (...) common sense. (shrink)
The theories of language and society of Giambattista Vico (1668-1744) are examined in this textual analysis of the full range of his theoretical writings, with special emphasis on his little-known early works. Vico's fundamental importance in the history of European ideas lies in his strong anti-Cartesian, anti-French and anti-Enlightenment views. In an age in which intellectuals adopted a rational approach, Vico stressed the nonrational element in man - in particular, imagination - as well as social and civil relationships, none (...) of them reducible to the scientific theories so popular in his time. (shrink)
Abu Hamid al-Ghazali, a Muslim jurist-theologian and polymath who lived from the mid-eleventh to the early twelfth century in present-day Iran, is a figure equivalent in stature to Maimonides in Judaism and Thomas Aquinas in Christianity. He is best known for his work in philosophy, ethics, law, and mysticism. In an engaged re-reading of the ideas of this preeminent Muslim thinker, Ebrahim Moosa argues that Ghazali's work has lasting relevance today as a model for a critical encounter with the Muslim (...) intellectual tradition in a modern and postmodern context. Moosa employs the theme of the threshold, or dihliz , the space from which Ghazali himself engaged the different currents of thought in his day, and proposes that contemporary Muslims who wish to place their own traditions in conversation with modern traditions consider the same vantage point. Moosa argues that by incorporating elements of Islamic theology, neoplatonic mysticism, and Aristotelian philosophy, Ghazali's work epitomizes the idea that the answers to life's complex realities do not reside in a single culture or intellectual tradition. Ghazali's emphasis on poiesis--creativity, imagination, and freedom of thought--provides a sorely needed model for a cosmopolitan intellectual renewal among Muslims, Moosa argues. Such a creative and critical inheritance, he concludes, ought to be heeded by those who seek to cultivate Muslim intellectual traditions in today's tumultuous world. (shrink)
This paper aims to clarify Merleau-Ponty’s difficult concept of “reversibility” by interpreting it as resuming the dialectical critique of the rationalist and empiricist tradition that informs Merleau-Ponty’s earlier work. The focus is on reversibility in “Eye and Mind,” as dismantling the traditional dualism of activity and passivity. This clarification also puts reversibility in continuity with the Phenomenology’s appropriation of Kant, letting us note an affiliation between Merleau-Ponty’s reversibility and Heidegger’s Ereignis: in each case being itself already performs the operation that (...) Kant had located in the imagination. Reversibility discovers this Kantian imagination moving in place, Ereignis discovers it in temporality. (shrink)
A suspicion about libertarian free will is that freedom is undermined, rather than supported, by the positing of indeterminism within processes of volition. In response, this paper presents a way in which moments of indeterminism can enhance freedom, by showing how such moments can genuinely belong to the agent. The key idea is that of putting the imagination to work in the service of free agency. The suggestion is that indeterministic processes of imaginative generativity can both belong to an (...) agent, and provide a ground for claims of freedom. In contrast to Robert Kane’s libertarian proposal of locating critical self-forming actions in special moments of rational choice, freedom-friendly indeterministic moments of self-shaping are instead posited within processes of imaginative generativity in which our future possibilities are imagined. This incompatibilist alternative to traditional libertarianism is briefly compared to Mele’s modest libertarianism, and defended against a selection of likely criticisms. (shrink)
Introduction -- Epistemology, metaphysics, and rhetoric : contexts of imagination -- Aristotle, Phantasia, and the problem of epistemology -- Plato, the neoplatonists, and the vagaries of the sublunar world -- Phantasia and ecstatic knowledge -- A more skillful artist than imitation -- Dreams, doubts, and evil demons : Descartes and imagination -- Mediatio prima : certainty, the cogito, and imagination -- Imagination in the rules -- Meditatio secunda : the world of the cogito -- Descartes, Montaigne, (...) and Pascal -- Analogies and enthusiasm -- Excogitations : fabulating the cogito -- The reasonable imagination : Immanuel Kant's critical philosophy -- Imagination in the limits of pure reason -- Dreamers and madmen : imagination in the anthropology -- Natural art and sublime madness : imagination in the critique of judgment -- The highest point of philosophy : Fichte's reimagining of the kantian system -- The logics of positing intellectual intuition and the absolute subject -- Ecstasy, inspired communication, and philosophical genius -- Light, dusk, and darkness : the reconciliation of opposites -- The metaphysics of oscillation and the truth of imagination -- Reason fixations : arresting imagination -- A system without foundations : poetic subjectivity in Friedrich von Hardenberg's Ordo inversus -- A system without foundations -- Fantasy and the body -- Divine law and abject subjectivity : Coleridge and the double knowledge of imagination -- Divine imagination -- The abyss of the empirical self -- Coda: Imagining ideology. (shrink)
Fragmented thinking, broken world -- Toward recovery of wholeness: the radical humanities and traditional wisdom -- Toward recovery of wholeness: another look at science -- Insight-imagination -- Living thinking, living world: toward an education of insight-imagination.
In "What is it Like to be a Bat?" Thomas Nagel argues that we cannot imagine what it is like to be a bat or presently understand how physicalism might be true. Both arguments have been seriously misunderstood. I defend them against various objections, point out a problem with the argument against physicalism, and show how the problem can be solved.
Recent philosophy of mind has had a mistaken conception of the nature of psychological concepts. It has assumed too much similarity between psychological judgments and those of natural science and has thus overlooked the fact that other people are not just objects whose thoughts we may try to predict and control but fellow creatures with whom we talk and co-operate. In this collection of essays, Jane Heal argues that central to our ability to arrive at views about others' thoughts is (...) not knowledge of some theory of the mind but rather an ability to imagine alternative worlds and how things appear from another person's point of view. She then applies this view to questions of how we represent others' thoughts, the shape of psychological concepts, the nature of rationality and the possibility of first person authority. This book should appeal to students and professionals in philosophy of mind and language. (shrink)
_In real life, emotions can distort practical reasoning, typically in ways that it is_ _difficult to realise at the time, or to envisage and plan for in advance. This fea-_ _ture of real life emotional experience raises difficulties for imagining such expe-_ _riences through centrally imagining, or imagining ‘from the inside’. I argue_ _instead for the important psychological role played by another kind of imagin-_ _ing: imagining from an external perspective. This external perspective can draw_ _on the dramatic irony involved (...) in imagining these typical cases, where one_ _knows outside the scope of the imagining what one does not know as part of the_ _content of what one imagines: namely, that the imagined emotion is distorting_ _one’s reasoning. Moreover, imagining from an external perspective allows one_ _to evaluate the imagined events in a way that imagining from the inside does not._. (shrink)
The ability to think of something not presently perceived, but spatio-temporally real. (2) The ability to think of whatever one acknowledges as possible in the spatio-temporal world. (3) The liability to think of something that the subject believes to be real, but which is not. (4) The ability to think of things that one conceives of as fictional. (5) The ability to entertain mental images. (6) The ability to think of anything at all. (7) The non-rational operations of the mind, (...) that is, those explicable in terms of causes rather than reasons. (8) The ability to form perceptual beliefs about public objects in space and time. (9) The ability to sensuously appreciate works of art or objects of natural beauty without classifying them under concepts or thinking of them as useful. (10) The ability to create works of art that encourage such sensuous appreciation. (11) The ability to appreciate things that are expressive or revelatory of the meaning of human life. (12) The ability to create works of art that express something deep about the meaning of life. (shrink)
This article criticises existing solutions to the 'puzzle of imaginative resistance', reconstrues it, and offers a solution of its own. About the Book : Imagination, Philosophy and the Arts is the first comprehensive collection of papers by philosophers examining the nature of imagination and its role in understanding and making art. Imagination is a central concept in aesthetics with close ties to issues in the philosophy of mind and the philosophy of language, yet it has not received (...) the kind of sustained, critical attention it deserves. This collection of seventeen brand new essays critically examines just how and in what form the notion of imagination illuminates fundamental problems in the philosophy of art. (shrink)
Pre-Socratic philosophy. - Plato. - Aristotle. - Post-Aristotelian philosophy. - The Theory of art: Quintilian, Longinus, and Philostratus. - Plotinus. - The lesser Neoplatonists. - Neoplatonic views of three early Christians. - Mediaeval descriptive psychology. - The psychology of the mystics. - Dante's theory of vision. - Conclusion.